Musk Says Tesla Will Unveil Robotaxi in August

Next-Generation Vehicle Platform Also Will Include a Cheaper Car
Tesla signage in Sydney, Australia
Tesla Inc. signage is displayed at their showroom and service center in Sydney, Australia. (Brent Lewin/Bloomberg News)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

Tesla Inc. plans to unveil its long-promised robotaxi later this year as the electric carmaker struggles with weak sales and competition from low-cost Chinese EVs.

CEO Elon Musk posted April 5 on X, his social media site, that Tesla’s robotaxi will be unveiled on Aug. 8.

Shares gained as much as 5.1% in postmarket trading in New York. Tesla’s stock has fallen 34% this year through the close of April 5. Shortly before Musk posted the news about the robotaxi, he lost the title of third-richest person in the world to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms Inc.

A fully autonomous vehicle, pitched to investors in 2019, has long been key to Tesla’s lofty valuation. In recent weeks, Tesla has rolled out the latest version of the driver-assistance software that it markets as FSD, or Full Self-Driving, to consumers.

The company has said that its next-generation vehicle platform will include both a cheaper car and a dedicated robotaxi. Though the company has teased both, it has yet to unveil prototypes of either. Musk’s April 5 tweet indicates that the robotaxi is taking priority over the cheaper car, though both will be designed on the same platform.

Tesla also produced 46,561 more vehicles than it delivered in the first quarter, which has forced it to slash prices. U.S. consumers have been turning away from more expensive EVs in favor of hybrid models, causing many manufacturers to rethink pushes to electrify their fleets.

Splashy product announcements by Musk have always been a key part of Tesla’s ability to gin up enthusiasm among customers and investors without spending on traditional advertising. They don’t always work: the company unveiled the Cybertruck to enormous fanfare in November 2019, but production was delayed for years and the ramp up of that vehicle has been slow.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: